Allen Iverson has come a long way since he first dabbled in the green; now, the former NBA star will be pairing up with Al Harrington’s Viola Brands to launch a line of cannabis products and merchandise within The Iverson Collection.
“A lot of people had approached me about cannabis in the past. But none of the offers felt right. That is until I got a call from Al,” Iverson told Forbes about his partnership with Viola Brands. “Al just explained to me what he was trying to do with his vision, how he’s trying to help people, mainly our people, how he’s trying to educate them and make them more aware of the benefits of cannabis and the stigma around it.”
Inspired to participate in the cannabis game by Harrington’s charisma, personality, and drive to educate society and leave communities of color feel empowered, Iverson couldn’t help but join forces with the forward-thinking NBA legend. “I was all in from that point on. For me, being part of the first Black-owned cannabis multinational is major.”
Iverson and Harrington have a gown to be more than just business partners; their relationship has become much more personal. “If I could share a joint with anyone, dead or alive, it would still be Al Harrington,” Iverson told Forbes. “He’s been on me about weed for years, and he’s confident I’ll be alright with the cannabis he shares with me, that it will be right for me. So I trust him; that makes me comfortable.”
As per Harrington’s thoughts, he couldn’t imagine partnering with anyone else besides Iverson. “When I think about what we are doing in the cannabis space, being a black-owned company and being rare… And then I just thought about how Allen had impacted not only the league but also players like myself. Allen was a game-changer, very disruptive, and always being himself. That is how I feel about Viola too. Allen really stuck it to corporate America, which wasn’t comfortable with a lot of what he was doing.”
With the new partnership comes a new path for other NBA legends to take into the cannabis industry, and Viola Brands is eager to pave the way for other cannabis entrepreneurs, especially those of color. “When I think about the impact and the awareness we want to bring, I just couldn’t think of anybody bigger in the sports world to do this with besides Allen,” added Harrington.